Together, we can slow the spread of COVID-19 by making a conscious effort to keep a physical distance between each other. Social distancing is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak. With patience and cooperation, we can all do our part.
What does Social Distancing mean?
This means making changes in your everyday routines in order to minimize close contact with others, including:
avoiding crowded places and non-essential gatherings
avoiding common greetings, such as handshakes
limiting contact with people at higher risk (e.g. older adults and those in poor health)
keeping a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 meters) from others, as much as possible
Here’s how you can practice social distancing:
greet with a wave instead of a handshake, a kiss or a hug
stay home as much as possible, including for meals and entertainment
shop or take public transportation during off-peak hours
conduct virtual meetings
host virtual play dates for your kids
use technology to keep in touch with friends and family
use food delivery services or online shopping
exercise at home or outside
work from home
wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your face
cough or sneeze into the bend of your arm
avoid touching surfaces people touch often
If you’re concerned you may have COVID-19:
separate yourself from others as soon as you have symptoms
if you are outside the home when a symptom develops, go home immediately and avoid taking public transit
stay home and follow the advice of your Public Health Authority, who may recommend self-isolation
call ahead to a health care provider if you are ill and seeking medical attention
Stay the Course
March 26, 2020 at 11:30 AM
At Providence, the Crisis Management Team continues to meet daily to monitor new COVID-19 developments and government directives, making decisions to ensure Providence maintains a safe environment for our students, faculty and staff.
Amid reports of probable COVID-19 cases jumping by 15 in Manitoba, including a Winnipeg woman in intensive care, and a girl under the age of 10, we want encourage you to “stay the course.” We’re in this together and can all play a part.
Continue to practice social distancing. Continue to study and work from home. Continue to communicate with your professors, supervisors and teams, drawing support and community from one another as we pioneer through these times together.
March 25, 2020 at 2:00 PM
A headline in the Winnipeg Free Press this morning read, “Cases low, risk remains high.” Manitoba’s COVID-19 confirmed cases have been low compared to other provinces. As of today, there are 35 confirmed and presumptive cases in Manitoba, 72 in Saskatchewan and 688 in Ontario.
Even though Manitoba seems to be curving the effect of Coronavirus right now, it’s not reason for us to let down our guard. We should continue to practice self-distancing, maintaining six feet distance from people and working home as it’s possible (etc.). It is essential to protect ourselves and those around us by following the directives of our government and health officials.
If you’re beginning to feel isolated from others, remember you can still offer kindness, connection and a sympathetic ear even in the midst of the Coronavirus threat. Find ways to connect over the phone, social media and video meetings to offer some encouragement to your friends and colleagues.
March 24, 2020 at 11:30 AM
For our Providence students and faculty, this is day five. And for most of our Providence staff, this is day two as we embark on doing our classes and work remotely or from home. We are not alone. In the news today, it’s reported that “more than 1.5 billion people worldwide have either been ordered or told to stay home to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.” That’s more than one-fifth of the world’s population. This could be a pivotal week in the battle to contain the coronavirus in North America and Europe.
Urging people to self-distance and stay at home, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization Director General, said that we all have a part to play. “We are not helpless bystanders, we can change the trajectory of this pandemic.”
It’s sobering when we consider that more than 16,500 have died from the virus, affecting families worldwide. But we must continue to put our hope in God (Psalm 91:7, 9-10) and do our part to help contain the spread of this virus.
For your reference, here’s a link to the Government of Manitoba’s measures for social distancing.
Here are a couple of Providence updates:
The Government of Manitoba has increased travel restrictions and isolation requirements to include no domestic (inter-provincial) travel.
Our on-campus hours of operation have changed as follows:
The Hanna Centre is open Monday to Friday from 8:15 am to 5 pm
The Reimer Student Living Center (SLC) is closed and locked at 3 pm daily
HIDDEN IN THE STRENGTH OF GOD (PSALM 91)
March 23, 2020 at 12:00 PM
As many of our Providence community are studying online, working remotely and self-isolating in their homes, we need to remember that we’re still united in our faith as a community of believers. Although we may not all be working side by side in one physical location at this time, we can still raise our voices in unity in prayer. It’s easy in times like these to lose sight of what God is doing, but if you read or pray Psalm 91 aloud, it may help to renew and strengthen your faith.
As of Sunday (March 22, 2020), three additional cases of COVID-19 have been identified, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases to 20 in Manitoba.
Some Providence updates are as follows:
Since we’re maintaining essential staff and services on-campus, our Facilities Department will only be responding to requests for critical maintenance or emergency work (i.e. plumbing leaks, heating problems, etc.) that’s needed at our residences, apartments and housing. We appreciate your patience and understanding over the next few weeks.
Summer TESOL programming has been cancelled.
Our campus, specifically the Hanna Building, is open to students and employees between the hours of 8:15 AM – 4:30 PM (locked at 5:00 PM). The Reimer SLC remains open until 7:00 PM. Facilities will be inaccessible after these times.
Students and employees who plan to come to campus are reminded to consider the following questions before arriving. If any of the answers to the questions is “yes” please contact your Resident Director, Student Development, or your supervisor before coming:
Are you currently, or have you recently, experiencing any of the symptoms present in COVID-19 cases (this may include, but is not limited to: fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, etc.)
Have you been in contact with anyone who has displayed symptoms of COVID-19 or who is being tested for COVID-19?
Have you travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days?
FAITH TO COMBAT THE FEAR
March 20, 2020 at 11:30 am
A story was recently reported by Fox News about a 6-year old reminding her brother, age 7, about a scripture they’d memorized. He was getting anxious about all the reports on Coronavirus. Facing him, she took his hand and they recited together, "But God did not give me a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7).
It’s a beautiful reminder that, as the world is panicking and stocking up on toilet paper, sugar, flour and rice, we as Christians need to stock up on faith to combat the fear about the global spread of the Coronavirus. Faith in God is what we need most.
The latest number of COVID-19 cases in Manitoba remains as follows: 17 confirmed and 0 presumptive. The Province of Manitoba has declared a State of Emergency for 30 days under the Emergency Measures Act. This allows the province to enact measures to protect the people of Manitoba and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Providence has a few updates as follows:
Providence's Fitness Centre and Gym facilities are closed until further notice.
We’re making arrangements for as many staff as possible to work remotely at home for two weeks from March 23 to April 3.
Our campus is open with essential staff and services only. Our library, IT, facilities, custodial, kitchen and food services will continue to operate onsite with some restrictions. The cafeteria starts summer hours next week with breakfast from 8 am to 10 am and lunch from 12 pm to 1 pm. Supper is closed until further notice.
Most of our students have vacated their residences apart from those who are unable due to extenuating circumstances. Student Development, Custodial Services and Food Services will continue to care for any students who remain on campus.
Also, SODEXO will be cleaning and sanitizing campus spaces and classrooms, followed by a closing down and locking of our currently vacant campus spaces.
FACING NEW CHALLENGES TOGETHER
MARCH 18, 2020 at 5:00 pm
These are unprecedented times. As our nation navigates through COVID-19, Providence has responded with some steps of action (unparalleled in our 95-year history) to help minimize COVID-19’s effects on our students and their ability to complete their semester.
Effective today all our courses are being delivered outside of the classroom and moving to alternative/online formats. This is not an easy transition and we thank all our faculty and students for their patience and cooperation as we face this new challenge together.
President Johnson reminded us today that God is with us even as we walk through this unwelcome adventure into the end of the semester. “At Providence, we rely on a God who has proved faithful again and again as we’ve traversed many personal and institutional challenges over the years.”
With this thought in mind, we can confidently face each day with a measure of faith and trust that God will see us through it all. Here are a couple of Providence updates:
Our residence students have been asked to return home or move off-campus whenever possible. However, careful consideration and accommodations are being made for students who are unable to leave at this time.
Our campus remains open for essential services, but with limited hours. The Hanna Center, our main administrative building which includes the gymnasium and library, will be closed on weekdays at 5 pm.
Information is changing quickly. Our FAQs are being updated regularly, so please review them below. The answer to your question may already be posted here. Any additional questions can be sent to email@example.com and we will answer those as quickly as possible.
CLASSES MOVE TO ALTERNATIVE / ONLINE FORMATS
MARCH 17, 2020 at 11:00 am
News about additional Canadian people testing positive for COVID-19 is changing by the hour. As of Monday, there are a total of eight cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba. Seven of which have been lab-confirmed. All cases were exposed to the virus through recent travel. This has prompted many closures, cancellations and postponements across the province.
Providence’s Crisis Management Team has committed to meeting daily to respond to the directives from our Canadian Health Authorities and to ensure the health and safety of our university community.
Professors are working with students so they can complete their classes, coursework and exams from now until the end of the semester. Classes will resume with online delivery tomorrow on Wednesday, March 18th.
Providence employees are working to move meetings as much as possible to virtual spaces without compromising on experience. The Enrollment Department is working on setting up online campus visits, and asks if you’re planning to visit our campus to contact them first at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT DAVID JOHNSON
Friday, March 13 at 5:00 pm
Providence continues to closely monitor the status of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is evolving rapidly worldwide. Our top priority is to take measures which will protect the health and safety of our campus and community, while supporting Manitoba's heath care system and supporting the guidelines announced by the Province of Manitoba. In that spirit, Providence will enact the following preventative measures out of an abundance of caution:
There will be no classes on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17. The Providence campus will remain open on those days, but there will be no classes. This allows the faculty members to move classes to alternative methods of instruction beginning Wednesday, March 18 and continuing to the end of the semester. Students should watch their Providence email for further information about completing their class requirements and final examinations. Students who are able to go home are encouraged to do so, and arrangements will be made for those who are unable to remain on Providence's campus.
At this time, Providence remains open and continues to adhere to the social distancing practices suggested by the Government of Manitoba, which can be foundhere.
Also, all non-essential Providence events have been cancelled or postponed until further notice. Events that have been cancelled include Providence's Athletics Banquet, all chapels and prayer meetings, Public Lectures, and all Club Volleyball related events. Graduation events will be postponed until Fall 2020. WatchProv.cafor further updates.
Providence's Crisis Management Team will continue to plan and prepare for possible eventualities caused by COVID-19 and monitor the situation closely. For more information on COVID-19, visitManitoba Health. We are thankful for the patience and understanding that will be shown as we sort out the details of this situation.
We continue to turn to a God who holds the entirety of our world in His hands. We serve a sovereign God, because of whom we act not out of fear but out of wisdom and concern for the vulnerable in our communities. Please join us in praying for not only Providence, but our world as it deals with the ongoing turmoil around COVID-19.